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Astronomy news. New! Earth-like extrasolar planet found; double helix nebula; supermassive black holes, astronomy articles, astronomy pictures. Updated daily.
Updated: 23 hours 33 min ago

Red giant star gives a surprising glimpse of the sun's future

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 9:28am
Astronomers have for the first time observed details on the surface of an aging star with the same mass as the sun. ALMA's images show that the star is a giant, its diameter twice the size of Earth's orbit around the sun, but also that the star's atmosphere is affected by powerful, unexpected shock waves.

One of the oldest objects in the universe observed

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 11:23am
Astronomers report that they have detected the second most distant dusty, star-forming galaxy ever found in the universe -- born in the first one billion years after the Big Bang. It is the oldest object ever detected by the LMT.

Forest of molecular signals in star forming galaxy

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 9:00am
Astronomers have found a rich molecular reservoir in the heart of an active star-forming galaxy with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Among eight clouds identified at the center of the galaxy NGC 253, one exhibits very complex chemical composition, while in the other clouds many signals are missing. This chemical richness and diversity shed light on the nature of the baby boom galaxy.

Next Mars rover will have 23 'eyes'

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:30pm
NASA's Mars 2020 mission will have more "eyes" than any rover before it: a grand total of 23, to create sweeping panoramas, reveal obstacles, study the atmosphere, and assist science instruments. They will provide dramatic views during the rover's descent to the Red Planet.

First direct measurements of high energy electrons in space

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:58am
The CALET Cosmic Ray experiment has successfully carried out the high-precision measurement of cosmic-ray electron spectrum up to 3 tera electron volts (TeV) by using the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) on the Japanese Experimental Module, the Exposed Facility on the International Space Station.

Return of the comet: 96P spotted by ESA, NASA satellites

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:56am
Sun-gazing missions SOHO and STEREO watched the return of comet 96P/Machholz when it entered their fields of view between Oct. 25-30. It is extremely rare for comets to be seen simultaneously from two different locations in space, and these are the most comprehensive parallel observations ever taken of this comet.

Another close-by planetary system?

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 8:18am
The ALMA Observatory in Chile has detected dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri. These new observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data also hint at the presence of an even cooler outer dust belt and may indicate the presence of an elaborate planetary system.

Shedding light on the mystery of matter accretion in young stars

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 6:03pm
Astronomers are shedding light on the mystery of matter accretion in young stars. Their discovery helps explain how matter accumulates on the surface of a young star and reconciles the theory behind and observations on the accretion process -- a matter of debate among astrophysicists because of the limited number of theoretical models and actual observations.

Hubble sees nearby asteroids photobombing distant galaxies

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:17pm
Photobombing asteroids from our solar system have snuck their way into this deep image of the universe taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. These asteroids reside roughly 160 million miles from Earth, yet they've horned their way into this picture of thousands of galaxies scattered across space and time at inconceivably farther distances.

Atmospheric beacons guide NASA scientists in search for life

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:10pm
New NASA research proposes a novel approach to sniffing out exoplanet atmospheres. It takes advantage of frequent stellar storms from cool, young dwarf stars to highlight signs of possible life.

Study unveils changes in the brain during extended missions in space

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 7:18pm
A neuroradiologist conducted a study titled 'Effects of Spaceflight on Astronaut Brain Structure as Indicated on MRI,' the results of which will be featured in the Nov. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Overlooked Treasure: The First Evidence of Exoplanets

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 5:54pm
Mount Wilson is the site where some of the key discoveries about our galaxy and universe were made in the early 20th century. But there is a far lesser known, 100-year-old discovery from Mount Wilson -- one that was unidentified and unappreciated until recently: the first evidence of exoplanets.

NASA investigates invisible magnetic bubbles in outer solar system

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 3:12pm
Forty years ago, the twin Voyagers spacecraft were launched to explore the frontiers of our solar system, and have since made countless discoveries, including finding magnetic bubbles around two of the outer planets.

One step closer to defining dark matter, GPS satellite atomic clocks on the hunt

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 1:03pm
One professor who studies the earth and one who studies space came together in the pursuit to detect and define dark matter. They are one step closer. Using 16 years of archival data from GPS satellites that that orbit the earth, the team looked for dark matter clumps in the shape of walls or bubbles and which would extend far out beyond the GPS orbits, the solar system and beyond.

Newest dark matter map hints at where astrophysics must go for breakthroughs

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 1:03pm
Three astrophysicists -- Scott Dodelson, Risa Wechsler and George Efstathiou -- recently participated in a roundtable discussion, hosted by The Kavli Foundation, about new data from the Dark Energy Survey and its implications for understanding the universe's history.

Medical-like tools for NASA to study samples of the solar system

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:14am
A diagnostic tool, similar in theory to those used by the medical profession to noninvasively image internal organs, bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels, could be equally effective at 'triaging' extraterrestrial rocks and other samples before they are shipped to Earth for further analysis.

'Monster' planet discovery challenges formation theory

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:51am
A giant planet, which should not exist according to planet formation theory, has been discovered around a distant star.

Minor merger kicks supermassive black hole into high gear

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:18am
Astronomers are studying the galaxy M77, which is famous for its super-active nucleus that releases enormous energy. The unprecedented deep image of the galaxy reveals evidence of a hidden minor merger billions of years ago. The discovery gives crucial evidence for the minor merger origin of active galactic nuclei.

Monster colliding black holes might lurk on the edge of spiral galaxies

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 3:44pm
The outskirts of spiral galaxies like our own could be crowded with colliding black holes of massive proportions and a prime location for scientists hunting the sources of gravitational waves, said researchers. Their study identifies an overlooked region potentially rife with orbiting black holes. Identifying host galaxies of merging massive black holes could help explain how orbiting pairs of black holes form.

Mystery of raging black hole beams penetrated

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 1:12pm
They are nature's very own Death Star beams - ultra-powerful jets of energy that shoot out from the vicinity of black holes like deadly rays from the Star Wars super-weapon.